The Real Deal New York

The New York City bus as a luxury marketing tool

By Tom Acitelli | November 09, 2007 11:41AM

Quick, think luxury condos. What’d you imagine? Fine finishes in the kitchen, no doubt. The latest in home amenities. Check. A doorman, perhaps, nodding smartly as you emerge from a workout at the on-site gym. Naturally. A city bus.

A city bus?

One new condo development may have you thinking just that. The m127, a 12-story condo planned atop a historic loft building in Murray Hill, has a name that may combine in some people’s minds a swanky address, 127 Madison Avenue, with that urban icon, the city bus — as in M11, M23, M104, etc., the monikers for the many motorized elephants that belch through the borough every day. (There is no actual M127 bus.)

The unique name shouldn’t just conjure up a bus, said Bruce Ehrmann, executive vice president of Stribling Marketing Associates and a leader of the m127 marketing effort. The name should also signify “a subway, a train, a limousine service, anything to evoke the grid of the city,” he said. “It relates to the ground structure of New York City, both in terms of transportation and the street grid makeup.”

The developer of the project, Cardinal Investments, said m127 came from a combination of “m” for “Madison” and the street address “127.” The association with city transit developed in people’s minds later on, said Trevor Stahelski, a partner at Cardinal Investments. The New York Post may have been the first to make the bus-condo connection in a Feb. 25 item.

Pending approval from the state attorney general’s office, Ehrmann said the m127’s nine units — two duplexes and seven full-floor simplexes — will go on sale in the first quarter of 2007. Creative agency The Apartment is designing the m127’s interiors and architectural firm Shop is designing the exterior. It’s too early to decide asking prices for the m127, Ehrmann said, but it’s a safe bet they’ll be more than the $2 usually needed to take the bus.

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